Best Of 2008

BEST HOMECOMING PERFORMANCE: Against Me! at Vans Warped Tour

Gainesville-based punk band Against Me! delivered a triumphant performance July 11 at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg during The Vans Warped Tour. Guitarist lead singer Tom Gabel was raised in Naples, and the audience included friends and family, mostly watching from the side of the stage, in addition to a reported 14,000 concertgoers. Against Me!’s intense, precision-attack, 40-minute set featured most of the band’s latest album, New Wave, and included a fireball offering of its breakthrough hit single “Thrash Unreal.” In between songs, Gabel smiled graciously at the teenage attendees who were body-surfing to get closer to their hero. For photos of the gig, see the July 14 entry at